By John P. Bunker, Benjamin A. Barnes, Frederick Mosteller
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Extra info for Costs, Risks, and Benefits of Surgery
Here it not only congealed to become new ﬂesh, but also carried the innate heat of the heart and its very life-force to every part of the living creature. Some blood was even believed to pass through the thick septal wall of the heart into the left chamber, and up through the two carotids in the neck, to reﬁne yet further into those salty-tasting animal spirits which were found in the lateral ventricles and cortical mass of freshly-removed brains. But this concept of the interior of mammalian bodies was essentially didactic rather than therapeutic in character, for the functions ascribed to organs such as the stomach, liver, heart, brain or veins were either vague or else plainly wrong.
In surgery, however, it was Abul Qasim uz-Zahrawi [Albucasis], living in Spain between AD 936 and 1013, who became the overwhelmingly important Arabic surgical writer. Albucasis pays his intellectual debts to Hippocrates, Galen and Celsus, in whose tradition he saw himself, and in his magnum opus, entitled Altasrif (known in the West as On Surgery and Instruments), he discussed a wide range of surgical conditions and instruments from his own Jan. 23, 2007 10:8 SPI-B404 Surgical Complications ch01 A History of Surgical Complications 13 practice.
23, 2007 10:8 SPI-B404 14 Surgical Complications ch01 A. Chapman tells us. This will come about by the judicious application of the red-hot cautery iron to the affected part, followed three days later by soothing salves of sulphur and oil. Indeed, the cautery was one of Albucasis’ favourite therapeutic devices when treating infection or even cutting the ﬂesh, for (as Celsus had noted) such surgical wounds, while especially painful at the time, stood the best chance of healing by ﬁrst intention, though no one at the time knew why.
Costs, Risks, and Benefits of Surgery by John P. Bunker, Benjamin A. Barnes, Frederick Mosteller